We know that a diverse workforce provides a powerful competitive advantage in the marketplace. To support our efforts to recruit and retain a diverse employee base, each of our plants has an Affirmative Action Plan with specific recruitment goals that are updated annually.
We have also taken steps to improve gender diversity in our workforce, and women now represent 16.5 percent of our senior management positions. Our approach has been multi-pronged, with the establishment of the Dean Foods Women's Network to offer development and networking opportunities to employees in all functions and at all levels of the organization.
Our network is enhanced through our partnerships with external organizations, such as the Women's Foodservice Forum and the Network of Executive Women, which provide broad growth and development opportunities for our employees.